Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Walled Garden Not Enough To Safeguard Mobile Platforms

As much as Apple would like to control how users use their iPhones, like denying them Google Voice or Podcaster, or protect users from viruses, it's never enough and someone will always find a way to get into the walled garden or fortress.

I suppose it's about building a better mouse-trap thing.  Still, always someone who can get around it as in the case of an European app that found a way to gain access to iPhone user's telephone number whereby iPhone users then started getting unsolicited calls.

This first came up at a site called Mac4Ever when they successfully tested the incriminating app, mogoRoad.  (More about iLounge)

Here's where it worries me.  What's to keep this app and others like it from accessing even more information in your iPhone's database?  Supposedly, this ability was available to developers since iPhone 2.1, oh, more than a year ago.

And another thing that worries me about this.  Apple is pretty anal about the app approval process so what about the less anal competitors out there?  Android users like myself.  Feeling good right about now?  And BB users.  Feeling safe too?

No matter what Apple or anything else tries to "protect" us, we're really the only ones who can decide what apps to install and what information to give out.  So far, this situation has been benign but highly irritating for the folks who received unwanted calls.  Still, it is quite alarming.

And since more folks are now frequenting 3rd party app stores, this problem is likely to crop up again and again.

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